Sunday, July 22, 2012

{Review} Morton's Fork: A Doctor's Dilemma by Dale Coy, M.D.

ISBN #: 978-1935766193
Page Count: 284
Copyright: June 6, 2012
Publisher: Chi-Towne Fiction


Morton's Fork: A choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives.

Roger Hartley is a dedicated old-school physician who prides himself on knowing his patients by name and promptly returning their calls. But squeezed by the new economics of health care, his tidy world begins to unravel when an uninsured patient slaps him with a frivolous lawsuit.

At the mercy of an unjust legal system, Hartley reaches his breaking point and commits a rash act that unexpectedly thrusts him into the center of a hot-button political issue. Chaos ensues as the worlds of law and medicine collide. The original malpractice lawsuit becomes the least of Hartley's troubles.

Morton's Fork is a thought-provoking social commentary that provides unique insight into the heart and soul of a doctor. Coy, with twenty years of experience as an internist, leaves the reader with a greater understanding of tort reform and the issues that derail our health care system.

Charlene's Review:

After 20 years of practice, Dr. Roger Hartley is served a summons for malpractice by a questionable patient. As the reality of the suit sets in, Hartley starts to question everything he knew to be true in his life and his profession. The resulting confusion pushes him to a desperate act, and ultimately into the unwilling position of "poster boy" for tort reform.

Up against Anita Johnson, a formidable attorney who will stop at nothing to put him away, Hartley does some deep soul-searching and faces trial with a renewed sense of justice. After a medical emergency leaves Anita in the very care of the doctors she litigates against, she has a change of heart, but the trial must go on. Dr. Hartley's future depends on the outcome, or does it?

Dr. Coy effectively shows us the sacrifices that doctors make, through loss of time, sleep, and its strain on family. Reflecting the present fight over "Obamacare," Dr. Coy gives us insider knowledge of the pitfalls of health care reform. In the present system, patients' well-being, and often their very life and death, is dependent on HMO approval. Add to that the high cost of malpractice insurance and high lawsuit pay-outs, and this so-called "reform" is actually eroding doctors' ability to heal.

While definitely making a political statement, this is not all boring commentary, but a well thought-out novel with a super-charged ending that literally left me breathless. This is an eye-opening message at an opportune time, and entertaining as well. Dr. Coy has a promising future in writing, and may very well be the "poster child" for tort reform.

*A physical copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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